Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 1, last updated 6/25/2013
in Hertz (samples/second). The sound being detected by the microphone is typically a
combination of sound frequencies. The frequency of a sound is related to the pitch that we hear
– the higher the frequency, the higher the pitch.
MIDI (musical instrument digital interface), on the other hand, doesn‟t contain any
data on actual sound waves, but rather consists of symbolic messages (according to a widely
accepted industry standard) that represent instruments, notes, and velocity information, similar to
the way music is notated on a score, encoded for computers. In other words, digital audio holds
information corresponding to a physical sound, while MIDI data holds information
corresponding to a musical performance.
In Chapter 5 we‟ll define these terms in greater depth. For now, a simple understanding of
their different purposes should be enough to help you gather the audio hardware and software
1.5 Setting up Your Work Environment
There are three things you may want to set up in order to work with this book. It's possible that
you'll need only one of the first two, depending on your focus. Everyone will probably need the
third to work with the suggested exercises in this book.
A digital audio workstation
A live sound reinforcement system
Software on your computer to do hands-on exercises
First, we assume most readers will want their own digital audio workstation (DAW), consisting
of a computer and the associated hardware and software for an at-home or professional sound
production (Figure 1.1). Suggestions for particular components or component types are given in